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Letter of the Day | Act now against domestic violence

Published:Monday | December 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM


We who reside in this beautiful little country - the 'Rock', as we sometimes say - are, from time to time, exposed to ugly episodes of what seems to be mushrooming violence. Sometimes the episodes reflect a predominance of violence against a particular group.

Not too long ago, in September perhaps, it was our children. Today, in December, the women seem to be preferred victims of this latest horror.

Over the last couple of weeks, over 10 cases of gender-based violence have resulted in the abrupt death of females. Some were wives, some girlfriends and others were ex-partners. All were robbed of life and ripped from loved ones.

It would seem that the gender infused with the milk of human kindness is being treated most unkind. It is no secret that our society, from coast to coast, is replete with cases of domestic abuse and gender-based violence, of which women are usually the victims and the cases go unreported for a variety of reasons.

Only about 25 per cent of all cases reach police stations. This societal indulgence of domestic assault is, in most ways, symptomatic of our larger societal ills of violence caused by poor socialisation.




However, it is aided and abetted by a subculture of misplaced patriarchy, the kind which manifest itself in the saying: "If me caan have you, then no one else will." This saying has forewarned many a slaying. With the nation now gripped with horror, and women in particular cowering in fear, we on the 'Rock' are confronted with the demand for solutions. But the truth is, there are no quick fixes, for even if an officer were to be stationed at each door, abuse would still continue.

All of us have a part to play. Relatives, neighbours, communities, churches, schools and, yes government, has to contribute.

Minister Olivia Grange committed in April to the establishment of a strategic action plan aimed at the eradication of gender-based violence. This plan is needed now more than ever.

Noel Matherson